“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on you, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26: 3
Philippians 4: 4-9
‘Peace of mind,’ – don’t we all desire this; I do. We face many battles and challenges in life, a good number begin and end in our minds; this is where they are often won or lost. There is a great deal of help and advice in the public realm, a lot of it good; there is for example guidance on physical and practical help. In our key verse today (above) God tells us that He will keep us in perfect peace if our minds are stayed on Him by trusting Him. Here are four steps, found in our Philippians reading that help us receive that perfect peace, that ‘Peace of Mind:’
Praise vs. 4-5 – firstly we are to rejoice in the Lord Himself (not the situation). Our praise of Him helps us put things into perspective, see matters as God does and begin to focus our minds on Him. When this is hard to do, we can remember who God is, what He has done in the past, play some music and pray a Psalm (e.g. Psalm 37). This helps us to realise that God is near and as we trust Him His gentleness becomes evident in our hearts, this is the first step towards and evidence of His peace
Pray vs.6 – once we are in His presence in this way, we can literally tell Him all our anxieties, casting them upon Him. We can pray in whatever way works in the given situation with: requests; anguish; intercession; thanksgiving; petition; and so on. We trust in Him by praying and believing His promises and by taking captive our thoughts till they are obedient to Him and His truth (2 Corinthians 10: 5) not the lies we hear and tell ourselves.
Peace vs. 7-8 – as we pray in this way God’s peace begins to fill our hearts and minds as our trust grows and our focus stays on Him. We further help this by thinking like Jesus focusing on whatever is true, noble, right, pure and praiseworthy. This then transforms us as our minds are literally renewed in Him (Romans 12: 2), helping us to know His will
Practice vs. 9 – to remain in this peace we need to keep our minds stayed on God in trust. To do this we need to put His truth into practice, to step out in belief so that our faith has action (James 1: 22-25); the God of peace remains with us
To Ponder: If your mind is in turmoil or you are feeling anxious try and identify the root cause of your feeling; go beyond the issue to its origin. Once identified try and follow the above four steps, perhaps use the prayer below and the song of praise
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Prayer: Lord in your gentleness and power help us in our anguish; turn our eyes to you and help us praise you for who you are. Focus our eyes and trust on you, guide us in prayer and transform us by your love. May your peace, which is beyond understanding, enter and guard our hearts and minds. Help us to keep our minds stayed on you and to step out in faith and joy. Amen
Praise: There is Power in the Name of Jesus (Break every Chain)
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtyVdC7E6Wo
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.